The government has announced that all businesses affected by flooding will be given 100% rate relief.

During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron said: “We will be introducing a grant for all affected homeowners and businesses to build in better flood protection as they repair their properties.

“That will be up to £5,000 per house and per business. I can also announce today that we will be deferring the tax payments that businesses have to pay and all of the businesses that have been affected by floods will get 100% business rate relief.”

Downing Street has confirmed that businesses affected by floods will be given 100% rate relief for three months. The relief will be administered by local authorities, which will be reimbursed by central Government.

A spokesman for property consultants Rapleys said: “Details are still unclear but this appears to be a re-announcement of the existing guidance that any business premises affected by flood damage to such an extent that the premises are no longer capable of being occupied will qualify for 100% relief from business rates for a period up to three months from the date of the flood. In the event of flood damage being experienced an application must be made immediately to the relevant local council.”
Rapleys is offering to help anyone in need of assistance to get the appropriate relief free of charge.

Businesses affected by flooding will also be allowed to defer payment of VAT, PAYE and corporation tax for three months to give them time to recover.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “This announcement is a welcome step from government to lessen the impact of flooding on our members in the short term. However, we must also focus on the long term and ensure that businesses have affordable flood insurance in the future.”

ACS is currently campaigning for provisions in the Water Bill to extend affordable insurance protections to local shops and other businesses.